Marc-Antoine Olivier (FRA) and Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) celebrated their first victory of the season on Saturday March 13, in Doha (QAT), at the first leg of the FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series 2021 .
After a long break with no international meets, Olympic bronze medallist Olivier touched home in 1h52m02s4 and took gold in Katara Beach, in front of Hungary's star Kristof Rasovszky (1h52m05s5) and Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri (1h52m07s9).
Olivier, 24, termed his victory in the season-opening race important: “It was a difficult race because of high waves and I am so happy to win here again. I started slowly and picked pace [in the last three laps], as I followed the last year’s plan in which I was successful,” he said.
“This first meet was so important because it is an Olympic year and my win here is crucial,” Olivier added.
Cunha emerged victorious in the women's race in a photo finish (2h01m30s3), while the second and third steps of the podium were taken by France's Oceane Cassignol (2h01m30s8) and Germany's Lea Boy (2h01m31s9).
Brazilian star Cunha was elated with her close victory in Doha that marked the return of Marathon Series after over a year: “The level of the race in presence of athletes who are preparing for the Olympics was very tough. There was a lot of wind but I like swimming in these conditions. These conditions make the race tougher for every contender,” Cunha said.
Results in Doha (QAT)
1. Marc-Antoine Olivier (FRA) 1h52m02s4
2. Kristof Rasovszky (HUN) 1h52m05s5
3. Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) 1h52m07s9
1. Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) 2h01m30s3
2. Oceane Cassignol (FRA) 2h01m30s8
3. Lea Boy (GER) 2h01m31s9
The Qatar Swimming Association, which will host the Doha 2023 FINA World Championships, organised the event by adhering to all COVID-19 protocols advised by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), and also to the specific FINA guidelines for open water swimming.
The 2021 calendar of the FINA Marathon Swim World Series unfolds as follows:
March 13, Doha (QAT)
May 9, Seychelles (SEY)
June 12, Budapest (HUN)
June 19, Setubal (POR)
July 25, Lac St-Jean (CAN)
August 7, Lac Mégantic (CAN)
August 28, Ohrid (MKD)
September 11, Nantou (TPE)
tbc, Chun’an (CHN)
October 17, Hong Kong (HKG)
You can re-watch the races on FINAtv and a detailed news report is available on FINA website . Photos and videos are on FINA social media.
Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA)
The Fédération Internationale de Natation, founded in 1908, is the governing body for aquatics worldwide. FINA's five discipline Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Artistic Swimming – are all included in the Olympic programme. High Diving made its first appearance in FINA events at the 2013 FINA World Championships. FINA counts 209 affiliated National Federations on the five continents and has its headquarters in Lausanne (SUI).